Dangerous gangs leave stigma on local riders - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

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Dangerous gangs leave stigma on local riders

WACO, TX (KXXV) - With the scene cleared of evidence and aftermath, investigators are turning to finding out who fired the fatal bullets at Sunday's deadly shootout and more is known about the violent gangs responsible.

Five gangs have been identified in the shooting. The fight appears to be between the Bandidos and Cossacks outlaw gangs. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bandidos are the second most dangerous gang in the country, often dealing in drug trade and human trafficking.

"People don't join these groups to ride motorcycles they, do it because they're criminally active enterprises," Steve Cook from the Midwest Outlaw Biker Gang Investigators Association. "By being a member of [the gangs] you can profit substantially."

The most violent gang refer to themselves as "1-percenters." It's nod to a 1947 American Motorcycle Association statement that described 99-percent of riders as law abiding citizens. 1-percenter gangs take pride in being violent, wearing patches marking their adherence to the ideology, according to Cook.

But the violence on display at the shooting may have repercussions on local biker clubs not affiliated with criminal activity.

"They're concerned if they come down here wearing their vests they'll get harassed," founder of the American Legion 121 Riders, Robert Carter said about members of clubs that were scheduled to attend a rally in Waco. The club postponed the rally until August.

Carter said the stigma of the rough and ready biker is difficult to shake without the added reinforcement of violent event. He said he hopes his club's history of charitable events, such as riding with veteran funerals and giving talks at schools will help repair the blemish left on the image of biker clubs.

"When they see groups of eight, 10 of us pull up at a spot, they go 'uh-oh.' We've got our black vests, chains on our vests, we got stuff... then once they realize who we are, it's a lot easier," Carter said.
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